Northern Ireland: Reasons to invest


Here are the top reasons why international companies such as Bazaarvoice, GolfNow, Proofpoint and Whitehat, chose to set up operations in Northern Ireland.

Talented People

  • Highly educated and skilled English-speaking workforce. One of the youngest populations in Europe – 55 per cent is under the age of 40.
  • Students consistently outperform candidates from other UK regions at GCSE and A-Level.
  • According to a major survey, Northern Ireland has the best performing education system for primary maths in Europe, and the sixth best in the world.
  • Low labour turnover rates.

Advanced Telecommunications Infrastructure

  • A resilient, digital network provides high-speed voice and data connections throughout the world.
  • Best in the UK for superfast broadband availability.
  • A high capacity, low-latency transatlantic cable system, providing direct connectivity between Northern Ireland and North America, as well as onward connectivity to Europe and beyond.

It offers:

  • Services up to 100G per wavelength
  • Protected services offering 99.999 per cent availability
  • Interconnection with eight points of presence across Northern Ireland
  • Onward connectivity to Great Britain and Europe

The supply of talent in Northern Ireland, particularly at graduate level, is impressive and, it makes this region highly attractive to a global company like Citi seeking the best location for growth.

- James Bardrick, Citi Country Officer United Kingdom

Competitive Operating Costs

  • Operating costs are up to 30 per cent lower than other locations in the UK and Europe.
  • Northern Ireland has some of the lowest prime office rental costs in Europe and the world. £20.00 per sq ft in Belfast, compared to £50.00 per sq ft in Dublin and £54.00 per sq ft in New York.
  • Northern Ireland has a competitive tax regime, that’s set to become even more attractive with the Northern Ireland Executive’s commitment to reduce the region’s Corporation Tax rate to 12.5 per cent.


  • Northern Ireland operates in the same time zone and regulatory environment as the rest of the UK.
  • Northern Ireland is an easily accessible location. London is only an hour away by air and Dublin only two hours by rail and road.
  • There are daily direct flights to a variety of European business locations, as well as a regular direct flight to the United States.
  • Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that shares a land border with a Euro participant (Republic of Ireland).

Since our original investment we have been continually impressed with the contribution our Belfast office has made in supporting the delivery of high quality legal services to Allen & Overy’s international client base.

- Andrew Brammer, IT & Shared Services Director, Allen & Overy

A Supportive Business Environment

Invest Northern Ireland is the region’s economic development agency. It helps new and existing businesses to compete internationally and attract new investment to Northern Ireland.

Invest NI can offer:

  • Financial support
  • Technical and advisory support, including assistance with:
    • Property search
    • Talent sourcing
    • Operating efficiency
    • Business development

Reasons to invest infographic

Track Record

  • Northern Ireland is a highly successful region for attracting inward investment projects.
  • Investors include multi-national companies such as Allen & Overy, Seagate Technology, Fujitsu, Bombardier Aerospace, Microsoft, Citi, Liberty Mutual, The Allstate Corporation and Baker McKenzie.
  • Around 900 international companies have invested in Northern Ireland.
  • Almost 80 per cent of new investors have reinvested.


Northern Ireland has a rich heritage of innovation:

  • Lord Kelvin, the father of modern science, was born in Belfast in 1824.
  • John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre in Belfast in 1888.
  • In 1917 Harry Ferguson patented the technology that led to the modern tractor.
  • The portable defibrillator was designed in Northern Ireland in the 1960s by Professor Frank Pantridge.

The tradition continues, with innovation in the fields of financial services technology, mobile telecoms, cyber security, digital imaging and remote sensors.

Find out more information about what Northern Ireland has to offer.